On Sunday evening, as an estimated hundred million Americans tune in to watch a Maroon 5 and Travis Scott concert bracketed by a football game between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, I will be . . . not doing that. I hail from a not-football family, and have grown into my own rich adult identity as a not-football person; consequently, I’ve had to learn how to find my own fun on Super Bowl Sunday.

If I’ve been invited to a game-watching party, the order of the day is clear: by culinary diktat, all Super Bowl–viewing foods must be cheese-topped, lashed with hot sauce, wrapped in bacon, deep fried, or dipped in ranch. These are—let’s be honest—among my very favorite food groups, so I’ll happily get busy in the kitchen spooning chili over Fritos, counting out seven layers of dip, or shredding chicken breasts for Buffalo-chicken dip, that glorious American magma of cream cheese, fowl, and hot sauce. (It’s not so much a recipe as a state of mind: bake it till it’s bubbly, use celery sticks as a vehicle, and succumb to obscene animalism.)

The snacks alone used to keep me semi-excited about the Super Bowl, until I realized that I don’t actually need the excuse of a football game to eat hot wings and Frito pie. As an adult with a working kitchen and bodily autonomy, I can indulge whenever I want to. So now I’m free to do what I please on that first Sunday in February.

For instance: with so many millions of people crowded around home television sets, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the best days of the year to get a really killer restaurant reservation. This Super Bowl dinner secret has become less of a secret in recent years (and, writing here, I dilute its magic further). But a spot check of New York City restaurants shows that, as of Thursday morning, tables for Sunday evening were available at normally sardine-jammed spots like Gramercy Tavern, King, Atoboy, Chez Ma Tante, Estela, Legacy Records, and Fedora—and at good times, too! None of this five-or-nine-thirty nonsense; these are proper dinners, starting at seven-thirty and eight o’clock. In Chicago, tables are wide open at hot spots including Next, Kitsune, and Spiaggia; in L.A., there’s room at Kismet, Winsome, and Here’s Looking at You. The odds are equally good at places that don’t take reservations but are usually mobbed, no matter where in the country you live. Waltz right in for a nice dinner, have a few drinks, enjoy yourself. Let the game happen without you. Make Buffalo-chicken dip whenever you want.

Sourse: newyorker.com


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